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Name of Activity:
Swimming Survivor Challenge I
Purpose of Activity:The purpose of this activity is for students to review and/or learn basic Red Cross swimming skills.
Prerequisites:Students should have a basic understanding of swimming stroke mechanics and basic skills. This first Survival Challenge provides students an opportunity to review and practice basic swimming strokes.
Suggested Grade Level:9-12
Materials Needed:2 Poster-size laminated Red Cross skills sheet showing most of the Red Cross skills from levels 1 to 6, and the Survival Challenge task sheet.
Description of Idea
This activity can be used in accordance with any aquatic skills that need to be taught. The key is to have a Survival Challenge at the end of the day to act as a culminating activity and to allow students to apply what they have learned in a competitive or real life situation. I have a block schedule, so my classes are an hour and a half each. You may have to adjust your planning to fit your schedule.
On the first day, the class is divided into Tribes based on the hit T.V. show Survivor. Organize and post the teams before class. Teams of 3-5 will provide for high activity time for many students. To stick with a Physical Education theme, I named the tribes 'Ping Pong' and 'Tae Bo', and other names similar to the names on the show. Students will stay in these tribes throughout the unit. It is imperative that they are equal in ability level as best as possible.
The goal for the first day is to review basic skills and mechanics in a fun way, and to see where students are skill wise. The activity begins by giving each tribe a task sheet (I made it look weathered and torn up to go along with the whole Survivor theme).
The task sheet says;
EACH TRIBE MUST ATTEMPT TO COMPLETE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING TASKS ON THE POSTER TO RECEIVE THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF POINTS. TASKS COMPLETED IN LEVELS 1 AND 2 ARE WORTH 1 POINT. TASKS COMPLETED IN LEVELS 3 AND 4 ARE WORTH 2 POINTS AND SKILLS COMPLETED IN LEVELS 5 AND 6 ARE WORTH 3 POINTS. TRY TO GET AS MANY POINTS AS YOU CAN FOR YOUR TRIBE.
Something I do that works really well is to not give any hints or help as to how to do certain skills. Instead, I tell each individual tribe to help one another out within their tribe if they do not understand or know how to do a certain skill. There is usually at least one student that knows how to do most skills. This allows students to show great leadership and really lets some people shine!
On the posterboard, I number each of the skills listed. As students complete the skills, they tell me which numbers they complete. For example: the Ping Pong tribe would tell me that Steve, Chris, Dan and Jenny just did skills 35, 36 and 40. I would then check their names off on a chart I prepared ahead of time with the numbers 1-50 (representing the skills) across the top, and their names along the side. I make sure to observe students do the skills in levels 5 and 6 because they are much harder.
At the end of the class or after a certain amount of time, I stop the activity and add up the scores and determine a winner. I use the skills poster to determine which skills students did not do, and then cover these skills the following day in class.
As students sign off on different skills using the posterboard, you can get an idea of skills that must be addressed in future lessons.
Students earn credit by choosing different skills, then performing them. Students choosing allow them to participate at their own ability/comfort level.
Emphasize students being successful with each skill instead of being the first team done.
Adaptations for Students with Disabilities
Students can work with a partner.